TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- Kyle Eckel scored three touchdowns, Navy
rolled up 332 yards rushing and the Midshipmen won their first
three games for the first time since 1979, beating Tulsa 29-0 on
Tulsa and Navy were the nations two most improved teams in 2003.
Only Navy has continued that success.
Tulsa, a surprising 8-5 a year ago, dropped to 0-3 with its
third straight poor offensive showing. The Golden Hurricane gained
320 yards and were shut out for the first time since a 37-0 loss to
Oklahoma opening the 2002 season.
Tulsa, which returns eight offensive starters from a team that
ranked 28th nationally in scoring last year at 30.8, failed to
score a touchdown for the second time this season.
It was Navy's first shutout since a 7-0 win over Lafayette in
Navy led 14-0 at halftime on the strength of two long touchdown
drives and two key fourth-down stops of Tulsa. The Midshipmen then
took command in the third quarter, wearing down Tulsa with their
option attack that led the nation in rushing in 2003.
Eckel ran in untouched from the 8-yard line to cap a 10-play
drive, all on the ground, opening the third quarter. A 2-point
conversion pass from kicker Geoff Blumenfeld to Corey Dryden pushed
the lead to 22-0.
Eric Roberts scampered 37 yards for a score on Navy's next
possession, making it 29-0 early in the fourth quarter. Roberts
finished with 89 yards on seven carries and Eckel had 98 yards in
Aaron Polanco was 3-for-5 for 73 yards as Navy went 98 yards on
its opening drive, capped by Eckel's 1-yard TD plunge.
Polanco passed for 117 yards and ran for 36 more before taking a
seat early in the final period.
Tulsa may have made a game of it had it converted two early
drives. Tulsa quarterback James Killian was swarmed on
fourth-and-goal at the 2. After forcing Navy to punt, the Hurricane
drove to the 22, where Uril Parrish was stopped, again on
Killian was 20-for-40 for 220 yards with two interceptions. He
also led Tulsa with 66 yards rushing.
The Midshipmen finished the first half by driving 80 yards in 11
plays, with Roberts doing much of the damage, picking up 33 yards
in three option carries.
Eckel crashed across from the 1 for his second score.